Police are investigating a new variation of card fraud, which tricks people into handing over all their credit and debit cards to a courier on their doorstep.
One victim who wished to remain anonymous received a phone call from someone claiming to be a staff member at the Apple store in London’s Regent Street.
He explained that her grand-daughter was in the store, trying to spend £1,000 on a card he thought belonged to her. He told the woman the police had been called and the person had fled the store.
The woman immediately tried to call her bank, to get the card cancelled.
The fraudsters stayed on the line, meaning that while she thought she was calling her bank, she was again speaking to one of the scammers.
The supposedly helpful assistant went on to explain that, under a new scheme, the woman could now cancel all her cards in one go, even cards belonging to rival banks.
She was then asked to dial her PINs into the telephone and the fraudster explained that the cancelled cards would then be collected by courier. For security reasons, she was told to ask the courier for a code number.
A fraudster arrived on the doorstep within the hour and the victim repeated the correct code, handed him an envelope with four credit and debit cards that had not really been cancelled.
The next day she realised the fraudsters had spent £1,200 on their accounts. This is a new variation of the courier fraud which has lost victims over £2.4m in two years.
Phone line staying open
At the moment, when someone makes a telephone call, it is possible that the line can stay open, even though the person receiving the call has hung up.
When the person receiving the call picks up the phone again, they will not get a dialling tone. In stressful circumstances some people may not notice this.
Even dialling a number on the keypad makes no difference to the line, which remains open. The telecoms regulator Ofcom is working with the industry to get this changed.
Prevention and awareness advice
- Your bank will never attend your home
- Your bank and the police will never collect your bank card
- Your bank and the police will never ask for your PIN
- If you receive one of these calls end it immediately
For further information visit the BBC news website.
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To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.